By Ray Hamill — The Corsairs received some clarification in regard to the community college sports calendar on Friday, although there is still plenty of uncertainty and some big decisions looming in the coming weeks.
The California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) met on Friday morning to discuss the calendar, recommending to move forward with a contingency plan that was approved in July, which splits the calendar into two seasons beginning in the new year.
For College of the Redwoods, the first season would feature basketball, soccer, cross country and women’s volleyball, with baseball, softball and track and field to follow.
Several obstacles remain, however, most notably the cost of mandatory COVID-19 testing for all student athletes competing in college sports.
Each individual institution will be responsible for making its own decision on whether to move forward with the seasons, and, according to CR Athletics Director Bob Brown, the Corsairs will make a decision on each of their teams after consulting with the rest of the Golden Valley Conference in the coming weeks.
Factors that will influence the decisions include the size of rosters — and whether individual student athletes will opt out — as well as what other teams in the conference decide on, and the cost of testing.
“The big hurdle on whether we can go forward is the testing,” Brown said.
A higher cost is expected for high contact sports such as basketball, soccer and volleyball, with a lower cost anticipated for lower contact sports such as baseball, softball, cross country and track and field.
Each athlete will be tested up to twice weekly during the season.
Brown met with his coaches on Friday afternoon to discuss the situation and their potential roster sizes going forward, with most of the CR coaches previously indicating they would be able to field large enough rosters when competition returns.
The state’s community college trainers association is scheduled to meet next week to come up with a framework for how the testing will work, including what it will involve and the potential cost.
The total cost of testing for any school fielding a full complement of teams is expected to be substantial, with some colleges in the state already opting out of all sports for the year.
The GVC will also meet in the coming days to discuss the conference options in each sport.
Brown said a final decision on all of CR’s sports will be made before the end of the semester.
The CCCAA also decided on Friday that all student athletes who do compete will be given an extra year of eligibility.
The NAIA has indicated it will honor that extra year of eligibility, although there is no final word yet on whether the NCAA will.